Learning Before Leading With Enterprise IoT

How does an enterprise quantify ROI with an unproven technology component? It comes down to how risk averse a company is and where it feels it can absorb initial cost in order to realize long term gain.

Such is the case with the Internet of Things (IoT). The machine to machine interconnectivity isn’t really new, but how it’s overtaking technology in the business landscape is why companies need to make a concerted effort toward addressing an already-in-progress transformation.

In a recent survey fielded by Enterprise Mobility Exchange, just 12% of IT executives said IoT was among the top three priorities they were addressing in 2017. However, in that same survey, 48% of those executives said they were strategizing how to best address a connected enterprise. Another 20% claimed they had already begun initiatives that would enable a fully connected enterprise.

“You have to start with what the definition of IoT is,” said Jeff Orr, analyst with ABI Research. “Each company wants to personalize it; whether it’s IoT, security, AI, etc., there’s a lot that businesses need to be thinking about. There’s a disillusionment that bringing in new technologies will solve everyone’s fears and worries. That puts way too much hope in a reality that likely won’t happen.”

The IoT software market is already booming, however, and forecasters are expecting a 228% growth over the next half decade, moving from $170.57 billion in 2017 to $561.04 billion by 2022. That’s a CAGR of 26.9%.

What separates IoT from other emerging technologies is that in some way or another, it impacts every end of the enterprise either directly or indirectly.

Implementing IoT in the enterprise isn’t about ROI, per se, but what kind of value it can bring to the organization and where it can reduce redundancies and enhance automation. “These are the qualities that will impact the bottom line in a business over time,” Orr said. “It’s about efficiencies, workflow optimization, and what gaps can be filled where humans aren’t bringing value.”

One sobering look at the edge landscape proves it’s just a matter of being prepared for a natural technological evolution.

“It’s been three years of a buzzword. IoT isn’t really new, just an industry name for machine to machine, or even mobile to mobile,” said Asmara Hadi, AT&T Subject Matter Expert. “It’s not really a matter of people not doing it; IoT can basically be someone walking with a connected device. I think it’s coming (to the enterprise), but companies need to figure out how much data is involved, and where it can use that data, and how can these digital transformation progressions take place over the course of the next 12 months.”

To read more from the Industry Insight 2017: The State of Enterprise Mobility, which takes a look at the state of enterprise mobility in full, including thought leadership and analysis on cloud, artificial intelligence, and mobile security, go here and download the free report.

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